Stop wasting time

    900 381 Lisa Steingold

    You’re reading this because you’ve got a bunch of time on your hands and nothing else to do right? I certainly hope not but in any case I highly doubt it.


    You’re probably reading it because A) the title captured your attention and B) you probably feel like you’re short a good couple of hours each day not just at work but in your personal life too. So in honour of this post, let’s get to it.

    How much time do you waste each day? In meetings that take hours when they could take one? On email conversations that should be held face to face?

    How many hours do you waste of your customers time? On forms that need to be printed to be filled in to be scanned back? On processes that make no sense?

    In my experience there are generally two causes of time wastage; the first being a lack of awareness of another way and secondly lack of processes that facilitate efficiency. Let me address the first and state categorically that with almost everything, there’s usually another way. For example, meetings. What if merely taking chairs away from each meeting facilitated efficiency? Each person would probably end up speaking 20% less but contributing 80% more value.

    On the second point of processes, I’d like to take the example of Afrihost. As a customer I have an online login whereby I can enlist support via email or phone. Each email sent via the online system receives a ticket and is answered within an hour. I’ve used this service countless times and received the same efficient response time and time again (excuse the pun). Why? Because the system works.

    If you’re working 12-16 hour days there’s something wrong (unless of course you prefer working 12-16 hour days in which case, carry on). You could be wasting time;

    on (to quote Steven Covey) tasks that are neither important nor urgent
    because you haven’t yet looked at alternative ways of doing things e.g. meetings, emails, escalations etc.
    due to inefficient systems and processes that don’t support you (and if they’re not supporting you, they’re not supporting the business either)
    Where could you / would you rather be focusing your attention? How would your customers feel if you stopped wasting their time on lengthy procedures? How productive could you team be in half the time? How would your marriage or health benefit if you could save time?

    To finish off I’d like to leave you with a thought. What if you had to pay for each hour you wasted? Would you view it differently? Alternatively, because I prefer carrots to sticks, what if you were paid for every hour saved that could be contributed to business innovation or development?

    Just a thought. Until next time


    Lisa Steingold

    All stories by: Lisa Steingold